As you likely know, I received my health coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It was an interesting curriculum that opened my mind to many dietary theories, some of which I had never heard of. I gained access to people who passionately follow various nutritional practices (like those who only eat raw food - not for me!); new ingredients and cooking techniques; and to an education in the worlds of sustainable food, farming as well as the impact of what we eat on the environment and ourselves.
I also met and connected with a peer coach who has changed my life. For the last two years we have talked every two weeks. We provide support, mentorship and encouragement to each other on our careers, health, relationships and life goals. We have guided each other through deaths, difficult work situations and surgeries; as well as celebrations, vacations and business launches. Without her, I likely never would have started this Tuesdays with MOJO blog.
Over the years, we have been amazed at how much we have in common, and how are lives seem to run on parallel tracks. I am grateful to IIN for introducing us!
The thing is, we have never met. She lives in Chicago and I in NYC. It’s amazing to have someone in your life that knows your ins and outs, but you have never laid eyes on.
Until last week!
M (yes she’s an M too!) told me one day that she was coming to NYC, and we were filled with glee and excitement at the prospect of finally meeting. We made plans to have dinner with our significant others and selected a restaurant we all had heard of, but never been. As we chose where to meet up beforehand, I started to get nervous – I felt like I was going on a blind date!
Would I look like she thought I looked? Would our chemistry be as great as it was on the phone? Will having our dates there make it awkward? What if she doesn’t like me??? My neurosis was tangible.
A peer coach is defined as someone you work with to “reflect on current practices; expand, refine, and build new skills; share ideas; teach one another; solve problems together;” make each other accountable.
If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you find one!
To that end, I do NOT suggest you go around asking random people to be your peer coach. Instead ease into it with someone you have good interaction, who comes to the table with synergistic skills, common needs and balanced energy. (You definitely do not want to interact regularly with someone who makes it all about him/her.)
We were lucky enough to meet when we were assigned to the same virtual coaching group. Both of us hooked up with other one-on-one peer coaches initially, but didn’t feel a strong connection to them. I think the first few times we spoke to feel each other out, it felt almost like cheating on our current peer coaches!
But our conversations just flowed; we understood each other, found comfort in our similar work backgrounds, and the yin yang of when we needed to lift each other up at key times spookily in synch.
I felt blessed to find such a gem!
And now we were going to get to hold our bi-weekly “call” in person!
We set a time to meet on 79th Street and Broadway, which had easy transportation access and close to the place we were going. I was nervous as I approached…the time ticked by slowly and my heart raced.
I knew her as soon as I saw her, of course. We hugged tightly and were conservatively giddy as we broke the ice with discussion around NYC attractions and seamlessly eased into familiar conversation. What a treat it was to be together in person!
We spent the evening getting to know each other as a group, and reserved the “check in” conversation for the next morning when we would meet again.
Sadly, I had clients schedule bookended meetings that cut our time together short, but she “gets it” and forgave me easily – it’s that kind of relationship and I value it deeply. To make eye contact while we shared our updates was beautiful.
I look forward to our next “check in” call, a week from tomorrow. Boy do we have a lot to talk about!
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™